US climate envoy Kerry calls on African countries to help cut emissions

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US climate envoy John Kerry delivers a statement ahead of the G7 climate, energy and environment ministers meeting during Germany’s G7 Presidency at the EUREF campus in Berlin, Germany, May 26, 2022 REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

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DAKAR, Sept 15 (Reuters) – African nations must help tackle climate change and stem rising temperatures that are affecting crop yields and causing floods and droughts in the region, the U.S. envoy said on Thursday. for the climate John Kerry at a conference in the Senegalese capital.

At the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment in Dakar, Kerry acknowledged that the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa emit just 0.55% of the world’s harmful emissions, but said every nation must pull together in the face of the crisis. .

“We are all threatened by the emissions – and Mother Nature doesn’t care where these emissions come from,” Kerry told delegates.

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“The challenge of the climate crisis comes from the emissions crisis in every country.”

Twenty countries, including the United States, are responsible for 80% of global emissions, Kerry said. Coal, oil and gas – the engines of the US economy – are the worst emitters, climate experts agree.

As the impacts of climate change come to light, major economies have the difficult task of trying to persuade African nations to cut emissions or cut fossil fuel investment at a critical time in their own economic development.

Senegal will become a major oil and gas producer when newly mined fields off its Atlantic coast start producing within the next two years. President Macky Sall said ending funding for gas exploration would be a “death blow” to emerging economies.

Yet Kerry’s message comes at a telling time: Floods have killed hundreds this rainy season in Nigeria, Niger and Chad, and millions face severe starvation in the Horn of Africa. Africa due to drought.

“We can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past,” Kerry said. “How you decide to approach the future will have a profound impact, not only on Africa, but on our ability as a planet to solve this problem.”

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Reporting by Edward McAllister; edited by Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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